“Dancing with the Stars” Dumps Band

Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) is pulling the plug on the music.

Tony Award-nominated bandleader Harold Wheeler and his 28-piece live orchestra will be noticeably absent when the reality series waltzes its way into the ballroom for an all-new season next month. In a statement to USA Today Tuesday, ABC and BBC Worldwide Productions — which produces DWTS — announced that Wheeler, 70, and his band have been sent packing after 17 seasons.

“Our talented music director, Harold Wheeler, will not be joining us for season 18 of Dancing with the Stars. Since season one, Harold and his band have performed brilliant music in our ballroom for our dancers and the American viewers at home. We are grateful to him and his band for their amazing work and years of collaboration. We wish him the best of luck.”

It appears Wheeler’s firing could mark the introduction of recorded music to the show. That’s a move
DWTS executive producer Conrad Green spoke about at length to The Hollywood Reporter in September.

“We feel that some types of music and types of songs, a lot of modern music particularly, is so produced that it’s impossible for an 18-piece band to replicate that sound. You get to a point where you’re forcing a band to try and do a sound that they just literally can’t pull off.”

ABC insists live music will still be an important part of the show. A new band leader will be announced soon.

Sorry to see Harold and the band go?

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